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March 27, 2019 – (Key West, FL). Key West Art & Historical Society receives NEA grant for Papio Kinetic Sculpture Parade Kinetic Coaches in Schools Program

For the last three years, multiple Key West schools and two “Kinetic Coaches” have innovatively engaged in STEAM initiatives as they transformed tricycles into Kinetic Sculpture Float entries in preparation for the annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, an event presented by Key West Art & Historical Society that celebrates human-powered sculptures and pioneering Florida Keys folk artist Stanley Papio. This year, the Kinetic Coaches in Schools program is supported in part by a $10,000 National Endowment of the Arts grant, allowing the program to include eight local classes led by two coaches and assistants that will spend at least 24 hours with each class over the next several weeks as they create their floats to honor the rebellious welder-turned-artist who explored recycled materials long before it was hip to be rusty.

The prestigious award “illustrates the importance of Papio’s legacy, STEAM education, and artists mentoring students with hands-on learning,” says Society Executive Director Michael Gieda.

“As the Parade continues to grow both in participation and audience, the NEA grant supports our ability to increase the number of participating classes while allowing us to offer better support for the artists and assistants who lead them,” he said.

The innovative program, conducted by KWAHS Director of Education Kristina Callaway, has teamed local artists Suzanne Brown and Crystal Smith with Horace O’Bryant School,  May Sands Montessori Elementary and Middle School, Montessori Children’s School, Sigsbee Charter School, Sugarloaf School, Poinciana Elementary School, Key West Collegiate Academy, and MARC House. Brown, a textile artist who studied metalsmithing and ceramics with a B.F.A. from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, has spent the last three decades with mixed media and three-dimensional art-building as her passion, habitually spurred by the discovery of a found object.  She has taught classes in everything from sewing to 3D art and design. Smith is a “locally grown” professional artist with more than 15 years of specialization in mixed mediums that include photography, theatrical makeup, recycled material art, and body painting. The Society’s Children’s Creative Program designer loves sharing her passion for art and the magic of creation with children.

Following a presentation of the Stanley Papio exhibit at Fort East Martello by Callaway that introduces students to the Florida Keys’ pioneering folk artist whose recycled metal sculptures abound with a clever sense of satire, tenacity, and innovation, and to kinetic principles needed to build their human-powered floats, Brown and Smith lead their individual groups in the physical crafting of kinetic sculpture floats that they will parade during the upcoming 4th annual Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade, which is set to roll through Old Town Key West on May 4, 2019.  The class with the Kinetic Sculpture Float that wows the crowd and uses principles of STEAM, creativity, and recycling will receive a $500 Barefoot Stanley Kinetic Kids Award.

The Kinetic Coaches in Schools program—supported by the NEA grant and a $2400 annual donation from Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina—provides students countless opportunities to tap into STEAM, an educational approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking.

To sponsor a school with your own tax-deductible donation, contact Michael Gieda at 305-295-6616 x 103. For registration information, event schedule, entry guidelines and other sponsorship information, visit The Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade is presented by Key West Art & Historical Society, co-produced by Wonderdog Productions, and sponsored in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of the Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida. Additional support provided by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Historic Tours of America, and Margaritaville Key West Resort & Marina.  Your Museums.  Your Community.  It takes an Island.

Photo Caption: Horace O’Bryant School teachers Ashlie Hood, left, and Katie Holtkamp watch as students building a float for a previous Papio Kinetic Sculpture and Art Bike Parade move a paddleboard donated for their team’s project into position. This year’s Papio Parade and surrounding events will take place May 3-5.